Holidaying in India? Think again.

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The Indian government – at very short notice – has decided that applicants for a visa will have to attend, in person, a centre for a biometric test.press-adds_03

If you are planning to go to India after March 14th you will have to book an appointment at one of the fourteen sites (my nearest is 90 miles away) and then travel there on the notified day for the test. If you are going as a couple or a family then every single person in the party has to book a separate test although what happens in the case of very small children is unclear.

Postal applications have been discontinued. The only way you are going to enter India is by booking these personal appointments. Or not going to India and travelling somewhere else instead. I fancy many people will be deterred from going there due to this rule. They will consider places like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh instead.

ABTA – the Association of British Travel Agents – has objected to the separate appointments for individual family members and a spokesperson for AITO – Association of Independent Tour Operators is quoted in the travel trade press as saying that India has become a difficult destination to sell and this will exacerbate things.

A visa already costs £100 which is expensive – nearly as much as it costs for an Indian to come to the UK but the UK has been making changes to make it easier for Indians to visit the UK by streamlining the application process. It’s a shame the same can’t be said about the role of the Indian government.

Tomorrow week, I shall be meeting the Indian minister for tourism. By the time I query why they have done this, there might have been a change of heart.

I’ll let you know what I find out.

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